How to Build a Website | Website Builders
So, you want to build your own website & establish a professional web presence?
Well you would be wasting your time if your website does not grab your site visitor's interest within a few seconds before they click away.
First impressions are vital to the success or failure of your website so having a professional website, I am sure you will agree, is non negotiable...
Learn How to Build a Website with this Free Website Tutorial
Building & establishing a professional web presence based on a soundly designed website is quite a daunting task for the uninitiated.
Just thinking about the HTML, CSS, Graphic Design & all of the other skills that are needed just to publish a reasonably effective website can be overwhelming.
However it is entirely possible to establish an extremely professional website presence without having to spend huge sums of money on web design fees, expensive software packages, programming manuals or web hosting services.
In fact you can build your own effective website with a little effort, common sense & above all good web design advice.
Furthermore many of the tools & resources that you will require to build your website are highly affordable, if not totally free.
In the guide below you will find the all the website resources which you will need which come from reputable web providers combined with the cheapest price.
8 Steps to Building & Publishing a Professional Website
- Name Your Site - Register a Domain Name
It is possible to get a free domain name with a free web hosting package which you can read about below.
However, this type of domain would be something like www.yahoo.com/your-site-name which doesn't do anything for the long term integrity & branding of your web site.
In fact there is no point in saving a few dollars when you can have your own preferred domain name to identify your website - this is just own part of establishing a professional web presence
Go to the following link for more on securing a cheap domain name for your site »
- Get Space for Your Site on the Net - Web Hosting
What do you need Web Hosting for, you may ask?
Well you need Web Hosting to give your website a place to live on the internet so that it is available to any web surfer on the world wide web for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In other words your website has to have a home on a computer somewhere (ie, a server) that is always connected to the Internet - when it's not connected this is called downtime when your site will not be available - avoid these type of web hosts at all costs.
This computer on which your website will reside, ie where it will be hosted, is called a Web Server and is owned by your web hosting company - which will hopefully be one of our recommended companies that are both affordable & reliable.
Many people gravitate towards free Web hosting without too much thought, as there are many drawbacks to free hosting.
There are generally significant amounts of downtime, limited support & other restrictions on server space & bandwidth.
So be sure to read all the fine print before you put your website on a free Web host.
Once again for the sake of your website's professional image & presence, cheap web hosting packages that are combined with affordablity, reliability, online support & features can be secured for a long lasting online web presence.
So for the sake of a few bucks, rather than opt for a free web host, sign up with a reliable & reputable web host here »
or find out more about our recommended cheap web hosting options here »
- Define Your Website's Goals & Theme
Once you have decided on your URL & secured a domain name for your chosen address, you can start planning your site.
The objectives for your website will drive the content and the design whether it's just a hobby or promoting a business.
Some of the things you need to consider are the following;
- The topic of your website - Many websites are either news/information, product, or reference sites
- Navigation - The navigation affects the information architecture of your site
- Content - Content is the actual text of your website's subject you'll be building
- Colors - The combination of the colors throughout your website need to complement each other
- Graphics - Consider the design of logos & corporate branding that may be needed for your site
- Keywords & Keyword Phrases - This is important not only for the content of your website but also for the naming of webpages and deciding on page titles & other meta tags - SEO Elite can help hugely in this repect.
If you can recognize page types, you'll be able to recognize what types of pages you need for your site. Play the Web Page Types game.
- Plan the Structure of Your Website
It is very important that you plan the structure of your website which would include the global navigation structure of the site.
Ideally you would like to create a template page that you can use as the basis of your website & use for each new page you add to the site
This would keep the look & feel of your site consistent for site visitors - changes made to the styling (eg a color or font) would then be made in the CSS file for the change to take affect across the whole of your website so each HTML page deos not have to be changed separately.
The template should include a page of HTML for the structure & a CSS file for the styling.
Once you have got that done save the HTML page as a template.
Just to take it a step further it is also useful to keep the menu lists & all common pieces of code in php files so that when they are changed only the one file needs to be amended for a global change to take place across the whole website.
- Start Building Your Website
Once you have settled on the structure save the page as your template & then use that template for each new page of your site.
All you will need to do is open the template & rename it for each new page & insert the appropriate text & graphics into it.
On the subject of graphics, whilst a webpage certainly looks a lot more interesting with a certain amount of graphics on it, too many or badly optimized graphics will slow down the loading time of the page which could lose visitors - page loading times are also taken into account by search engines.
For the holy grail in graphics design software, Photoshop CS3 is what you need to produce or optimize beautiful pictures & graphics for the web...
Experienced web designers can build web pages just by using notepad, however a sound knowledge of HTML & CSS is required for that.
Therefore most of us will need some help & you won't get better website building software than that provided by Macromedia's Dreamweaver.
Check it out Dreamweaver's latest offering here - Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 - Full »
- Publish Your Website
Getting your website live on the internet is known as publishing your website.
This involves uploading all the pages & related files (eg CSS file) to you domains account on your web host's server.
You can do this with either the tools that come with your hosting service or with an FTP client - get a free FTP program here ».
Once this has been done, you can type your domain's address into the address bar of your web browser & you will be able to view your completed website.
- Promote Your Website
Besides optimizing your site for search engines - SEO - which is a whole subject on its own you should also do the following to put your site on the map;
SEO Elite is a tool that will help enormously with competitive keyword selection and so on...
- Submit to website directories - get traffic & the all importnat backlinks
- Participate in forums & get backlinks through your link in your profile
- Participate in social media websites like Twitter, Delicious etc.
- Place free classified adverts on sites like Craigs list
- Write & submit quality, original articles to article directories which will generate traffic & backlinks via your link in your resource box
- Maintain Your Website
To keep your site fresh & interesting it needs to be updated at frequent intervals just like a shop store front needs to be continually changed around & updatde with the latest goods.
Frequent changes to the content of your website will also keep the search engine spiders interested - they love new & fresh content which will enhance your site's search engine integrity which is importnat to get high placings in the SERPS for your preferred key phrases.
The task will be made easier for those who have a good grasp of HTML & CSS (as well as PHP etc.) as the cornerstone of a sound webdesign is keeping the structure of your website in the HTMl & the styling within the CSS files.
To make the whole webdesign process easier you can build a professional website quite easily & quickly with XSitePro website builder.
XSitePro in an incredibly powerful, full-blown web site development tool, perfect for beginners & seasoned website designers alike.
Just take a few minutes to check it out & order your Website Builder software here »